When Will (name changed) felt that it was high time to seek help for his alcohol addiction, little, did he know that the recovery center he would check into would be so invested in using technology to help him overcome his addiction? “The treatment plan consisted of using everything from EMDR to using Vibroacoustic Tech and even apps. Even now when I am sober, my therapists from alcohol treatment center Gallus Detox connect with me on video conferencing apps and we hold our weekly sessions at a time of my convenience.”
Will is not alone. Across the world and especially in America, the detox facilities and recovery centers are now turning to technology to help them improve results. New age treatment plans and programs are heavily investing in scientific aids, tech tools, software programs, and gadgets to help in achieving successful results in overcoming drug and alcohol addiction.
While technology has become one of the most pervasive forces of our times, it has not yet been able to make its mark as far as addiction recovery is concerned. That is set to change with a range of new and innovative start-ups and medical practitioners eager to try and apply this to helping their patients. Things are expected to get better from here on.
In this article on how technology can help in drug and alcohol addiction recovery, we list seven important things you should know about this new integration. Before we get to the sections on technology and addiction recovery, let us first look at the old and antiquated models that were being (some facilities still depend on them) employed in addiction recovery.
The Old Models of Addiction Recovery Treatment
According to leading experts, when it came to addiction recovery and treatment plans, most institutions were guilty of sticking to a one-track approach.
Let us break this down for you. While we are all aware of the 12-Step Program, treatment plans and centers failed to explore other promising avenues and opportunities.
What is this one-track approach all about? For starters, it was all about encouraging the user to develop mental strength and fortitude. The belief to say ‘NO’ was the all-pervasive approach to dealing with addiction.
There is no denying the fact that the 12-Step Program was highly successful in helping millions of Americans achieve sobriety and kick their addiction. But the times we are living in are far more advanced, and the nature of substances has also become more dangerous.
While there is consensus that every type of user and their addiction problem is different, the treatment plans are strangely similar and even identical. It is time to step beyond the age-old norms of attaching ‘accountability’ and leveraging ‘fellowship’.
Technology can be a credible medium that should be explored. To be honest, whatever acceptance that has come in this regard has been because of the pandemic period and how things like medical apps and telemedicine proved to be beneficial for patients.
Seven Things you should know about Technology in Addiction Recovery and Treatment
- The growing importance of EMDR treatment in addiction recovery-
Since addiction is all about addressing the root cause of the problem, EMDR technologies are now being used in recovery treatments. EMDR was originally developed to treat PTSD in war veterans. It stands for Eye Movement Desensitization, and Reprocessing is an advanced form of psychotherapy. This treatment has shown positive results in helping aid recovery.
- Heartmath that shows the connection between the mind and the body-
While most recovery centers were convinced that the mind is inextricably linked to the body in addiction cases, they failed to establish a real relationship between the two. Heartmath allows experts to examine in real-time the changes in the vitals of the users. For example, during the course of the recovery program, this can be observed over the long term and results drawn.
- Simulation Videos or TES to prevent relapse after successful recovery-
It is true that the real work in terms of staying sober begins when you step out of the rehab center. How are you going to say no, control your cravings and stay away from certain groups of individuals can all be shown through TES or Therapeutic Education Systems. It can simulate real-world experiences and ask users to work on their responses. This can be incredibly helpful.
- Real-time monitoring technology for substance abuse disorder-
The toughest times are the ones when no one is watching. Did you know that a majority of people who relapse do so within the first year of recovery? In order to ensure that they are being stringently monitored, there are a lot of innovative technologies that provide real-time information about use. For alcohol, they work in the form of a portable breathalyzer.
- The rise of recovery apps for users as well as their support systems-
One of the major advancements has been in the form of recovery apps that aid and advice past users on what they should be doing on a day-to-day basis. There are plenty of great apps in the market like Reset, NOMO, and WEconnect. There are settings for both users, as well as their friends and family members (people that are supporting the sobriety of the individual).
- Telemedicine in addiction recovery has made it easier to get in touch with experts-
While telemedicine and its beneficial impact is not just restricted to addiction recovery treatment, it has been found to be highly effective during those tough ‘I am going to give in’ moments. With telemedicine, there is a sense of comfort that help is always available, and there are no such barriers to connecting to your therapist or doctor. Staying connected is powerful.
- Access to online support groups and systems for an immediate connection-
It is true that we have forums and communities for practically every interest area out there. For a very long time, no such support groups or systems were available in the digital world. Not anymore. There has been a growth in the number of online groups and communities offering tangible help in the form of guidance, advice, and emotional support.
The Bottom Line
Every form of recovery treatment is unique. This is because they need to be tailormade to suit the individual needs and requirements of human beings. While successful integration of technology in addiction recovery and treatment programs is still very much in its infancy, the potential and promise are there for everyone to see. In the coming years, this is one area that is likely to offer constructive solutions for addiction recovery.